# [EM] RE : Re: Are proposed methods asymptotically aproaching some limit of utility?

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Tue Mar 13 12:27:50 PDT 2007

```At 03:03 AM 3/13/2007, Kevin Venzke wrote:
>Hi,
>
>--- Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <abd at lomaxdesign.com> a écrit :
> > I used to think that I understood what "strategic" voting in Range
> > was, i.e., say I prefer A>B>C. And, say, I would rate them 1, 0.5,
> > and 0 respectively. Ah, but I really want A to win. So I rate B, not
> > at 0.5, but at 0.
>
>I guess this example shows you didn't understand it. "I really want A to
>win" isn't a strategic consideration. It's a statement of sincere
>sincere preferences.

And I guess this means you didn't understand what
I was saying. I was exposing that very contradiction. And I went on to explain:

> > Seemed simple, I was "exaggerating."
> >
> > But wait! If I vote this way, it must be that I prefer A to B with
> > more strength than I prefer B to C. So the conditions of the problem

What I'm saying is that "I really want A to win"
is a sincere preference that is expressed by
bullet voting for A, and zero-rating B. If I
don't care so much, but I prefer A over all
others, I can rate A at max and B at some
intermediate rating. It all depends on how much I care.

The problem is that we have this idea of
exaggeration. But why would one exaggerate?
*Because they care.* In other words, it is not an exaggeration.

>  I assumed that the preference strength was equal,
> > and thus the ratings would be equally spaced. But then I essentially
> > assumed that they were *not* equal, because by downrating B to zero I
> > was equating B and C, risking victory by C, my least favorite.
>
>This example is unfortunate since with candidates with an average
>utility of .5, and no information on any candidates' viability, it doesn't
>matter strategically how you rate a candidate worth .5.

I think that we get confused by utility
consideration. Range Voting is a voting method
that voters will use to maximize their expected
outcome from the election. Utilities are slippery
things. We think of utilities, first, in a
vacuum, to come up with supposedly "sincere"
ratings. But, in fact, choices are made in
contexts. It is completely artificial to separate
them out. That Adolf Hitler enters the contest
and seems to have a chance of winning will quite
likely alter our "sincere" ratings. And these new ratings are equally sincere.

Range uses *relative* utility, that is, the
utility of candidates relative to the others, and
in the existing social context.

>Let's say B is only worth .4. Now strategically you should exaggerate
>and rate B 0. That's because on a single puny vote, it's inefficient to
>try to save some voting power to help B beat C when the same power could
>be helping A beat B for a greater improvement.
>
>You could also need to rate B as 0 if you do not believe that your last
>choice C has a good chance of winning. This is because spending your
>voting power to help B beat C is relatively pointless if C isn't going
>to win. Again, you have one puny vote; it's different if yours is the only
>ballot.
>
>Kevin Venzke
>
>
>
>
>
>
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